2019 DIRECTV vs. DISH comparison

Choose the best satellite TV provider for your home.

Is DIRECTV or DISH better for your home?

DIRECTV and DISH differ slightly in price, available channels, sports packs and DVR equipment. Depending on what you’re looking for in a TV service, you may find one provider to have an edge over the other.

  • DISH has lower introductory pricing, but higher price increases after one year than DISH.
  • DIRECTV offers more TV packages and HD and 4K channels than DISH.
  • DISH has the better DVR equipment. DISH’s Hopper 3 can record up to 16 shows at once; DIRECTV’s Genie can record five.
  • DIRECTV offers NFL SUNDAY TICKET; DISH does not.

We’ve done the research on DIRECTV and DISH for you, so you can easily compare and choose the best TV provider for your home. Here’s a look at how the two providers compare in pricing, channels, DVR equipment and contract requirements.

DIRECTV vs. DISH quick comparison

DIRECTV

  • Plans starting at $59.99/mo.*
  • 155-330+ channels
  • HD included
  • 4K channels available
  • Record up to five shows at once
  • Store up to 200 hours HD content
  • Two-year contract required
  • Price increase after one year

DISH Network

  • Plans starting at $59.99/mo.*
  • 190-290+ channels
  • HD included
  • Record up to 16 shows at once
  • Store up to 500 hours HD content
  • Two-year contract required
  • Two-year price guarantee

*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. As of 07/10/19.

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DIRECTV vs. DISH pricing and fees

At first glance, DIRECTV appears to have lower pricing for basic TV packages. However, DIRECTV pricing increases after one year, whereas DISH offers a two-year price guarantee, balancing out the initial savings you’d get with DIRECTV.

  • Lowest-priced package: SELECT starting at $59.99/mo.* for 155+ channels
  • Highest-priced package: PREMIER starting at $134.99/mo.* for 330+ channels
  • Price increase: after one year
  • Installation fee: standard installation included in up to four rooms
  • Local channels fee: $0
  • First DVR device: included
  • Additional receivers: $7/mo. each

  • Lowest-priced package: America’s top 120 starting at $59.99/mo.* for 190 channels
  • Highest-priced package: America’s Top 250 starting at $89.99/mo.* for 290+ channels
  • Price increase: after two years
  • Installation fee: standard installation included in up to six rooms
  • Local channels fee: $12/mo. (included in package price)
  • First DVR device: included
  • Additional receivers: $5-10/mo. each

*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. As of 07/10/19.

DIRECTV pricing starts a bit lower than DISH, but increases significantly after one year. Consequently, average monthly pricing for comparable DIRECTV and DISH packages is about the same over the span of two years. After the two-year mark is where you may notice a difference. DISH’s price increases tend to be lower than DIRECTV’s, which could make DISH more cost-effective if you plan on having the service for more than two years.

DISH vs. DIRECTV hidden fees

Fees for HD programming and standard installation are included with DIRECTV and DISH packages. While both DIRECTV and DISH include one DVR device, they charge a fee for each additional device, ranging from $5 to $10 each month. Both providers may charge an added fee for whole-home DVR service in addition to DVR device rental fees. Depending on the provider and package you select, a regional sports fee which can vary by location.

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DIRECTV vs. DISH packages

When it comes to package options, DIRECTV has a slight advantage over DISH. DIRECTV offers six unique channel packages to DISH’s four. Both providers offer add-on packages for premium channels, sports packs and international channels.

Take a look at available packages from each provider below, and check out our DIRECTV channel guide and DISH channel guide to see what channels come with each package.

  • SELECT – starting at $59.99/mo.* for 155+ channels
  • ENTERTAINMENT – starting at $64.99/mo.* for 160+ channels
  • CHOICE – starting at $69.99/mo.* for 185+ channels
  • XTRA – starting at $79.99/mo.* for 235+ channels
  • ULTIMATE – starting at $84.99/mo.* for 250+ channels
  • PREMIER – starting at $134.99/mo.* for 330+ channels

  • America’s Top 120 – starting at $59.99/mo.* for 190 channels
  • America’s Top 120 Plus – starting at $69.99/mo.* for 190+ channels
  • America’s Top 200 – starting at $79.99/mo.* for 240+ channels
  • America’s Top 250 – starting at $89.99/mo.* for 290+ channels

*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. As of 07/10/19.

Lower-tiered DIRECTV and DISH packages offer similar channel lineups and pricing, but DIRECTV’s top package gives you more than any DISH package. DIRECTV’s PREMIER™ package includes HBO®, Showtime®, Cinemax® and STARZ/STARZ ENCORE networks, plus 70+ regional sports networks. DISH’s largest TV package, America’s Top 250, only includes STARZ ENCORE channels, which is similar to DIRECTV’s ULTIMATE package.

NFL SUNDAY TICKET is another advantage exclusive to DIRECTV. The pro football sports package gives subscribers “every live, out-of-market game, every Sunday” and is only available from DIRECTV. New customers who sign up for the CHOICE™ package or above can get a season of NFL SUNDAY TICKET included at no extra cost.

DIRECTV vs. DISH DVR equipment

This is one category where DISH has a clear advantage. DISH’s Hopper 3 offers more recording capabilities and storage space than DIRECTV’s Genie. Plus, the Hopper 3 features a handy remote finder button and access to apps like Netflix and YouTube from the device.

  • Records up to five shows at once
  • One TB storage space for up to 200 hours of HD content
  • Supports HD and 4K resolution
  • 72-hour rewind, watch select shows up to 72 hours after they aired
  • Wireless devices available
  • Whole-home DVR available

  • Records up to 16 shows at once
  • Two TB storage space for up to 500 hours of HD content
  • Supports HD resolution and 4K via streaming services
  • “Find the Remote” button
  • AutoHop automatically skips commercials in selected primetime recordings
  • Netflix® and other apps built-in
  • Wireless devices available
  • Whole-home DVR available

Both providers include one main DVR device at no extra cost. Additional DIRECTV receivers can cost up to $7 per device, while additional DISH receivers cost $5 to $10 each. Get the DIRECTV Genie or the DISH Hopper 3 with any standard TV package.

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DIRECTV vs. DISH customer satisfaction

According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, DIRECTV and DISH rank relatively high in customer satisfaction compared to other TV service providers, especially cable. Here’s how the two satellite TV providers scored over the past three years.

Provider/service2019 score2018 score2017 scoreAvg. past three years
DIRECTV66/100646866
DISH67676767

J.D. Power also rates DISH and DIRECTV higher than cable in overall customer satisfaction, with DISH leading in the North/Central and West regions and DIRECTV leading in the East and South regions in 2018.

DIRECTV vs. DISH frequently asked questions

Both providers offer similar packages and pricing. DISH has a more powerful DVR, capable of recording 16 shows at once. DIRECTV has more channels and package options, including the exclusive NFL SUNDAY TICKET.

Yes. Both providers require you to install a satellite dish to receive service. Equipment and standard installation are included at no extra cost with DIRECTV and DISH.

Neither DIRECTV or DISH offer internet. HughesNet and Viasat are popular satellite internet providers, but your home may also be eligible for DSL, cable or fiber-optic internet services.

Netflix is not included with either service. However, the Hopper 3 from DISH lets you access your Netflix account from the DVR, so you don’t have to switch cables or inputs to watch Netflix.

DIRECTV and DISH both offer local channels with their main TV packages. In most locations, local channels are also available in HD resolution.

No. DIRECTV is the sole provider of NFL SUNDAY TICKET. However, DISH does offer NFL Network and NFL RedZone with select packages, plus local channels for your in-market games and ESPN for Monday Night Football.

Last updated on 07/10/19.

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Last updated 07/03/19.

Call to order DIRECTV or DISH

Whether you choose DIRECTV, with 4K channels and exclusive sports packages, or DISH, with a robust DVR system, rely on our TV experts to get you set up. Call now to order DIRECTV or DISH services for your home.

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